LumberJocks

Finishing question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Kathy posted 12-21-2010 02:38 PM 1362 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kathy's profile

Kathy

210 posts in 2386 days


12-21-2010 02:38 PM

I have been missing being here but have been crazy busy finishing Christmas projects. 10 boxes, 6 cutting boards, 8 candle holders!!!! Been having a ball and I am finally done and they are all wrapped up!

I have always used Minwax stains and then water based poly on my projects. I have become increasingly frustrated getting a good finish with the poly. No matter how careful I am I get bubbles and areas where it has built up. Like on the edges you get a line of “stuff”. So then you have to sand off the imperfections and do another coat of poly. Vicious circle.

I also am not sure what material I should use to polish the finished project with poly.

What other method can I use to get a nice shine, (not glossy), on my projects? Tung Oil? Danish Oil?

Thanks!!!!!!

-- curious woodworker


14 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2525 days


#1 posted 12-21-2010 06:56 PM

What are you applying it with?
In what temperature are you applying in?

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#2 posted 12-21-2010 07:50 PM

Wow! It’s still 4 days until Christmas. I’ll be working up to the last minute (and beyond) to get everything done.

Regarding finishes – I have pretty good luck using rub on poly and applying it with a foam brush.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#3 posted 12-21-2010 08:00 PM

Try using a foam brush, with not too much poly on it.

Danish oil followed by paste wax will give you a real nice finish as well.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Kathy's profile

Kathy

210 posts in 2386 days


#4 posted 12-21-2010 11:23 PM

Is rub on ploy different that just regular water base poly? I do use a foam brush and someone recommended using sheepskin to apply but It seems to leave little hairs behind.

-- curious woodworker

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#5 posted 12-22-2010 04:33 PM

Most of the wipe-on poly that is readily available is oil-based. I know there are some water-based wipe-ons on the market now, but I have not had the opportunity to try any yet. I have tried thinning regular water-based poly with water and wiping it on, but I was not pleased with the results.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2475 days


#6 posted 12-22-2010 05:36 PM

I’m a big fan of wipe-on varnish, e.g. Arm-R-Seal (General Finishes).

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2448 days


#7 posted 12-22-2010 06:23 PM

Kathy, you can thin your water based poly to make your own wipe on poly. Much easier to apply and dries quicker between coats. I wouldn’t thin more than 20%.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#8 posted 12-22-2010 09:46 PM

Wipe on poly (oil based) is thinner than brush on poly. You need more coats to build up much of a finish.

After rereading the original topic, I though I should mention that with poly you should brush it on and wipe it off almost immediately. With a rub on poly (that I put on with a foam brush) I put a minimum of 5 coats on this way and usually more. Light sanding between the coats is optional. Some guys do it. I don’t.

The best way to wipe it off is with those blue shop paper towels. They produce virtually no lint.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View JBfromMN's profile

JBfromMN

107 posts in 2241 days


#9 posted 12-22-2010 10:03 PM

I have had good luck with both oil and water based poly by wiping it on. The problem lies in the foam brush method IMHO. Foam by nature contain a bunch of air pockets. When you compress the foam brush to wipe it on, you are forcing the air out of those pockets and possibly into your finish.

I use an old cotten t-shirt cut into pieces. I then fold the peices into little cloth applicators. I use a metal binding clip to hold my little folded applicator together. I then dip into the poly, get a good amount on there and wipe it onto the surface. Keep in mind this only really works with flat surfaces. That is how the fiinish was applied in my Ballot box seen here , this example is full strength oil based poly….however YMMV. I have also used this method with thinned out material as well.

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51452 posts in 2945 days


#10 posted 12-23-2010 03:12 AM

I am not sure why you would be getting bubbles in the poly. I use oil and water based poly on many projects and havent run into this. One rule is to not shake the poly…this will cause bubbles. Also, use fresh poly. When you stir it stir it slowly and try not to cause the poly to slop around in the can. Also use a good brush. This will also make a difference. I have tried the foam brush, but I prefer a good bristle brush. Put it on thin and watch for runs, but dont over work the applications, it starts to thicken quickly. Do a light sanding between coats. I generally use water based poly on things like baseboard trim, interior doors, and kitchen cabinets etc, and use the oil type on furniture. I would think a good furniture wax, even Johnson’s Pledge will leave a nice sheen.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View RickLoDico's profile

RickLoDico

55 posts in 2526 days


#11 posted 12-23-2010 03:17 AM

I use Waterlox on just about every project. It’s my go-to finish. Applies quickly with a foam brush, dries in a few hours, no sanding between coats and gives a nice smooth finish.

-- He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

View Kathy's profile

Kathy

210 posts in 2386 days


#12 posted 12-24-2010 02:28 PM

Thanks everyone.

I can always count on all kinds of great advice when I ask something here. I am going to try the wipe on poly, both oil and water based. I hate cleaning oil based stuff but if I can used throw away cloths that solves the problem!!

Everyone have a GREAT Christmas!!!!

-- curious woodworker

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1602 posts in 2418 days


#13 posted 12-24-2010 10:47 PM

I second rickLoDico’s suggestion of WaterLox. It is by far my favorite varnish finish. It’s a tung oil based varnish, and is incredibly forgiving and can be used from satin to high polish. Personally, I favor French polish on my boxes, and WaterLox on all my furniture and household projects. Price has gone up quite a bit over the past few years, but it’s worth every cent. For what it’s worth.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2525 days


#14 posted 12-25-2010 04:26 AM

The problem with water base finishes it dries up fast. This would work fine in small projects, but if its a large table it would be best if sprayed, brushed or use oil based version.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com